Employee working a bar at a restaurant for blog titled Productivity Measurements

Productivity Measurements: Are they the Answer to Scheduling, Retention, and Labor Savings?

Restaurant labor costs are likely the greatest expense in today’s food & beverage operation and have always been an area of focus for restaurant operators. With rising wages to attract employees, minimum wage increases, staffing shortages that increase overtime pay and retention/training cost, food & beverage labor costs have become an even greater focus.

Labor shortages are nothing new, and with low entry-level wages, physically demanding work, dealing with customers, weekends, holidays, and varied schedules, it has always been a challenge to attract people to the industry. For those of us that love the business, it was a small price to pay for doing something we truly enjoyed. We accepted our schedule changing at the last minute, shifts getting cut, being signed out by our supervisors 30 minutes before we were finished cleaning, and being called in on a moment’s notice. Rarely was anyone happy about these practices, but that is how the industry worked, and it is what managers did to control labor costs.

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    cover counts customers in a restaurant

    Cover Counts: What are They and Why Do We Need Them?

    When we enter the food and beverage industry, we hear different terms that reference the number of guests to expect or that were served. Whether it be PAX (unit) in banquets, reservations, or customer counts, we quickly learn that “cover” is the term most widely used. Simply, one cover represents one customer, so if you have 100 customers, you have 100 covers.

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      Blog about food & beverage software system. Image of a high end restaurant

      How to Choose the Right Food & Beverage Software System

      Choosing the right food & beverage software system depends on whether you have existing systems and software or if you have a blank canvas in a new operation.

      There are some great systems that can perform many functions, but before deciding to purchase a one-stop system you need to detail exactly what you need and how you want it to perform. For example, a system may have a great POS component with table management but lack analytics or it is difficult to add invoices to the inventory application.

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        Daily Food Cost Tracking: Benefit or Burden?

        In previous editions of CORE Profit Strategies, we have explored some best practices to maximize profit and control costs. In this edition, we will look at a daily food cost strategy that is less effective and may not be the best use of your time or resources.

        One of My Least Favorite Questions

        Have you ever had someone ask you what your food cost is on the 17th day of the month? The day of the month is irrelevant, but it is a question that I’ve been asked on a few occasions.

        I will never forget the first time I was asked this by the GM where I worked. Panic set in because I had no idea what the food cost was on that day. My reply was, “food costs are looking good”. Judging by the look on his face, it was apparent that was not the answer he was accustomed to.

        Knowing that question would probably be asked later in the month, and if not, then definitely next month, I tried to figure out what he was looking for. Did he expect me to give him a solid “27.58%”?

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          What Your Recipes Will Reveal

          Congratulations! If you made it this far, you have taken the plunge and created your recipes. Or you are like me and want to know the end of the story before you dive in. Who can blame you? It is a lot of work, and beginning with the end in mind will help keep you on track.

          Over the past few blogs, we have covered why you need recipes, ingredient yield and net weight, key elements of a recipe, and how to finalize your recipe database.  No matter if you have read all those blogs or are just finding this series now, these articles will help you develop a strong recipe database that will prime you for increased profits and success. As the final installment in this series, we will look at what to look for moving forward.

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            5 Steps to Finalize Your Recipe Database

            Rather you are a new or existing operation, you likely already have a strong grasp of the value of recipes and are aware of the necessary work needed to build our your recipe database. If you are still unsure of how to begin building your recipes and what to include, make sure to read the first few blogs in this series, 6 Key Elements of a Recipe to Engineer them for Success, Getting Started with Recipes: Ingredient Yield and Net Weight and Recipes: 4 Reasons Why Your Operation Needs.

            If you’re reading this, you likely already have your recipes developed and are just looking to finalize them into a usable and efficient database. I’m not going to tell you that everything is going to be fun and games from this point on because creating recipes can be a very daunting task, but the benefits are too great to ignore.

            You are in the home stretch, but you need to press on, there is still lots to do.

            So, are you ready to put the recipes together?  

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              food and recipe preparation on table at restaurant

              6 Key Elements of a Recipe to Engineer them for Success

              As you begin reading this article, your current recipe development may be in one of the following 4 stages. 

              What stage are you in?  

                1. Recipes are in place and being used. You are curious to see if there is something new to learn. If that is the case and you have any tips of your own, please share them in the comments. We never stop learning.
                2. You have some recipes, but you are looking for a bit of information because you think something is missing.
                3. You are ready to build recipes and want to learn the ins and outs beforehand.
                4. You are not sure if it is worth investing the time. You or your team are coming up with reasons why recipes are not important. Do any of the following sound familiar?
                  • They take too long to write
                  • Recipes slow down the process
                  • Employees know how to make everything and what the standards are
                  • “You know chefs, they don’t share their recipes with everyone”
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                food on restaurant kitchen table

                Getting Started with Recipes: Ingredient Yield and Net Weight

                In last week’s edition of CORE Profit Strategies, we explored the top 4 reasons operations need recipes. Some of you may have taken a second look at your current recipe database or started building new ones. Congratulations, you have taken the first step. Keep writing them and don’t stop.

                One of the reasons that recipes are not updated or maintained is that there always seems to be something wrong with the calculations. You have everything in place and there is still an unexplained variance between the actual and theoretical (potential costs).

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                luxury restaurant dining

                Food Cost: The Processes and Systems

                In Food Cost: Not Just an Outcome but a Culture, we discussed that food cost is a culture created by people and supported by the fundamentals (processes and systems). The only way to have a sustainable and consistent food cost is through your culture. You cannot fix the food cost on your own. Having employees with high morale and pride in their work creates a culture that helps you manage and maintain food costs.

                But having high morale and pride is not the only thing that creates sustainable food costs. In this blog, we will take a broader look at the food cost culture. I will explore how the fundamentals of processes and systems help create a sustainable foundation for the financial culture of your operation.

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